Yesterday was our readoption day. Readoption is a process (really just more paperwork and more money:) by which our state formally recognizes everything that was done through the court system in Ethiopia here in America. It means that our girls will now be recognized as US citizens and as having all rights as if they were naturally born to us.
I loved the part when the judge asked us if it was our desire for the girls to be recognized as our "natural" children. Of course we do-we know that they are just that. They are our "natural" gift from God, just as all of our children are.
A few days ago I was cooking dinner and the kids were playing outside. I looked out our kitchen window and saw Hermela swinging happily on the swing and thought, "it's as if she's always been here." I absolutely feel no difference of love for any of my children. I think the best way to describe it is that I know that they are all God's children and are only on loan to me to raise for Him. So, how they happen to come into our family is really irrelevant.
That being said, it was a special day (not to mention a relief to finally change the girls' middle names and drop the "William"). Even more special because we got to share it with our friends Heidi and Scott and their baby Jonas. Heidi started the adoption process right after we accepted our referral for the girls. We had dreamed (although I knew it would likely not happen) about traveling to pick up our kids together-which obviously didn't work out. So this was kind of like our consolation prize-we finalized the process together and our children were recognized as permanent members of our families on the same day! Gotta love how God works things out!